Gonad development and size‐at‐maturity of silver therapon Leiopotherapon plumbeus (Kner 1864; Teleostei:Terapontidae) in tropical volcanic lakes in south Luzon, Philippines
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Gonad development of the silver therapon Leiopotherapon plumbeus in two volcanic crater lake habitats (Sampaloc Lake, Taal Lake) in south Luzon, Philippines was examined during the annual reproductive cycle. The minimum body size‐at‐maturity of fish in these two lake habitats was also compared. Four gonad development stages were characterized as basis for the classification of ovarian (immature, maturing, mature, spawned) and testicular maturation (immature, maturing, mature) phases. The occurrence of all development stages in individual gonads suggest an asynchronous development whereby advanced stages are recruited continuously from a pool of younger stage germ cells to result in elevated female and male GSI throughout the annual cycle due to active gonadogenesis. Together with the increasing occurrence of advanced stage oocytes and spermatozoa from March until October, the elevated GSI of fish may indicate peak gonadal growth during the onset of the dry season (December–January) for eventual spawning from the beginning (May–June) until the end of the wet season (October–November). In both lake habitats, male fish were smaller than females but, regardless of sex, the minimum size‐at‐maturity of fish in Sampaloc Lake was significantly smaller than fish in Taal Lake. Overall, asynchronous development during oogenesis and spermatogenesis allows for year‐round reproduction of silver therapon, with elevated gonad growth in the dry season in preparation for spawning during the wet season. Compared with fish in Taal Lake, a smaller size‐at‐maturity of fish in Sampaloc Lake may be a response of the wild fishery stock to long‐term high fishing mortality and degradation of the lake habitat.
Suggested CitationDenusta, P. J. T., de Jesus-Ayson, E. G., Laron, M. A., Aya, F., & Garcia, L. (2019). Gonad development and size‐at‐maturity of silver therapon Leiopotherapon plumbeus (Kner 1864; Teleostei:Terapontidae) in tropical volcanic lakes in south Luzon, Philippines.
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